Cracks show in VMware exec ranks

Suits ship-jumping could presage change right at the top

Comment The onrushing Dell acquisition of EMC seems to have prompted two senior VMware exec departures. Is Pat Gelsinger's position at the helm secure?

VMware is 80 per cent owned by EMC, and Dell will become its new overlord when the acquisition closes later this year.

The two high-profile exec departures from VMware signal that, despite Michael Dell's assurance that VMware will remain an independent company, they see their future outside the Dell corral, as we noted.

VMware president and COO Carl Eschenbach left VMware last month to join Sequoia Capital as a general partner. Martin Casado, VMware's general manager for its Networking and Security business, has also left, joining Andreesen Horowitz as a General Partner.

But there are other wrinkles to consider here.

We understand the cultures at Dell and EMC are somewhat different, and that the cultures at EMC and VMware are also different. It could be that, as some expect, the looming corporate cultural collisions, with Dell on top, combined with the prospect of potentially radical product overlap pruning, is causing a flood of EMC and VMware CVs to hit recruitment agencies and head-hunters. We have heard anecdotally that this is so.

In fact, VMware CEO Pat Gelsinger may not relish reporting to Michael Dell, with a more hands-on approach than Joe Tucci, and may look for a future role as an independent CEO, not continuing as a subsidiary CEO reporting to a bigger one. ®

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